In response to your query about NHS Direct I am sure the service is underused by disabled people because they do not know about it. It's probably underused by everybody for the same reason.
We had occasion to use it recently and were so impressed that my partner wrote an article for our local newspaper. However, our problem, although related to disability was one for which advice was easily available (accidentally taking an overdose of prescription drugs). I would not be nearly so confident in asking for advice about my physical impairment. Impairment is often very individual in its effects and does need an NHS worker who knows the individual concerned.
The report included reference to Walk-in Centres in the hope that more people can be made aware and therefore able to make use of them.
I will happily forward the text of the report if anyone wants to see it.
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